A surly gentleman and his overworked clerk fake a relationship in this swoonworthy Regency romance from Annabelle Greene.
William Hartley’s wealth and social standing often make up for his short temper, but they can’t cure his claustrophobia. He’d lost hope of finding help for it, until meeting Josiah Balfour. In a moment of panic, Josiah’s presence is a balm to his senses, leaving Hartley calm for the first time in months.
Josiah Balfour knows his place—and it’s not in the bed of a gentleman. As the administrator for the Society of Beasts, he’s responsible for the club’s well-being. When a threat to the Society emerges from an unexpected quarter, it falls to Josiah to deal with it. But Hartley is willing to help, even if it involves posing as a couple to infiltrate a rival club.
Josiah needs Hartley’s prestige to help him save the Society, while Hartley simply needs Josiah. Their relationship might be a sham, but the desire between them is all too real. Stuck in close quarters with everything they love on the line, they discover that everything might just include each other.
🔸 historical romance 🔸
🔸 great character development🔸
🔸 lots of sparks and great chemistry🔸
🔸 couldn’t put it down!🔸
Another triumphant return to the Society of Beasts! I greatly enjoyed the first two books in this series and I certainly wasn’t disappointed in the third installment. While the characters from previous books appear in lovely cameos in this novel, it’s primarily about the intriguing partnership between Beast William Hartley and Society employee, Josiah Balfour.
Hartley is one of those club members who doesn’t even seem to notice the staff. He’s been spoiled by his wealth and privilege, he’s short-tempered and snappy. The problems lurking under the surface aren’t visible to everyone else. Traumatized by a significant event in his past, Hartley is left with panic-inducing claustrophobic.. and wounds to his friendships that have yet to be healed.
As Hartley begins to push himself to recover… a chance encounter with Josiah makes them both aware of the attraction between them. Josiah agrees to help Hartley… and the two men embark upon an investigation of a club that has appeared in the city. The club may undermine the popularity of the Society of Beasts and that doesn’t sit well with either of the men. Despite their differences, they find themselves timing up to try and solve the mystery of the new “men’s” club.
The pacing is spot-on in this instalment of the series. Greene is an expert at timing, doling out just the right amount of tension versus progress in a relationship. While this book is a romance at heart, there’s a lot of growth in Hartley’s character in particular. I loved the way that he worked through his issues… and he did it under his own steam.
The is rather an epic love story… so don’t go into it thinking you won’t be invested … you will be, and it will be by page 10.
I received an ARC of The Servant and the Gentleman by Annabelle Greene from Carina via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.